Linklaters hires spur lockstep reform

Linklaters-.jpg” alt=”Linklaters hires spur lockstep reform” />Linklaters’ German equity ladder will be revised to match its London counterpart after six years of German partners getting around 30 per cent less.

The Lawyer has learned that German hopes are that the review will be concluded within the next 18 months.

The change in policy was triggered two weeks ago by Linklaters’ cull of as many as 11 Cologne partners and the hire of the two senior Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer laterals Ralph Wollburg and Achim Kirchfeld on an off-lockstep top-of-equity deal.

Wollburg and Kirchfeld are the first two German partners who are “in parity with their equivalents on the London remuneration structure,” said Linklaters’ managing partner-elect Simon Davies.

Davies added: “It has long been the firm’s intention to bring the two structures together and we will see this changing over time.”

Sources in Germany have confirmed that there is no definite timetable for finalising the review but that it is hoped that within 18 months the German partners could fall in line with the full English lockstep and plateau.

Notwithstanding the firm’s recent corporate and M&A strategic re-alignment in Germany, The Lawyer was told that the change will be not discriminate between partners of different departments.

A plateau partnership at Linklaters is worth around £1.618m. The two rainmaker lateral hires Wollburg and Kirchfeld were on a plateau level at Freshfields of £1.1m. They will be starting a new office for Linklaters in Düsseldorf and are expected to take around 13 of the Cologne offices partners with them. Eleven of the Cologne partners are unlikely to join though discussions are ongoing.